Regardless of nationality, many people embrace being Irish on St. Patrickâ€™s Day. And why not? The day is rich with camaraderie, good food, plentiful beverages, and hope for the future. As such, Louisville embraces the day.
Wearing the green. Blue was the original color so St. Patrickâ€™s Day, but green replaced it the the 18th century, in honor of the landscape of Ireland, dubbed the â€œEmerald Isle,â€ shamrocks, and the green Irish revolutionary flags. Early revelers thought green made them invisible to leprechauns who would pinch and steal those not wearing the color. Now, even my pups wear green in honor of the day.
Leprechauns: These little fairies were ill-tempered tricksters in Ireland, but were given a genial nature when touched by Walt Disney. The 1950 film Darby Oâ€™Gill and the Little People made leprechauns the symbol of St. Patrickâ€™s Day in American and Ireland too.
Corned beef and cabbage: Irish settlers to America replaced the bacon in traditional Irish meal with corned beef that was plentiful here. They often bought from Jewish butchers to create corned beef and cabbage, an Irish-American favorite. Louisville delis like Stevens and Stevens serve up corned beef all year, while Irish pubs and other restaurants like the Irish Rover, Bristol Bar and Grill, Oâ€™Sheaâ€™s serve up corned and cabbage during the two-week celebration.
Drinking: St. Patrickâ€™s Day was traditionally a religious holiday in Ireland, where the pubs were closed in observance. In the mid-90s, a new emphasis on tourism instituted a 5-day St. Paddyâ€™s Day festival in Dublin. Partiers in Louisville often attend Mass before the parade.
Guiness: Green beer might be a novelty beverage, but darkly-colored Guiness and delicious microbeers are the real beverages of the day. Guinness has always been tied to the day, though the company is not Irish. In Louisville, local breweries turn out Bourbon Barrel Stout and Celtic Hell and other favorites and joina number of Irish pubs in serving up the beverages.
Shamrock Shakes: McDonaldâ€™s mint-flavored green shake was been a favorite from 1970-1990, but was only featured in some restaurants in the chain since then. For a time, it was unavailable in Louisville, but returned this year as Mickey Dâ€™s went national with it again.
Parades: Not an Irish tradition, the St. Patrickâ€™s Day parade began in the U.S.in 1762 in New York City, when Irish soldiers who served in the British military started the tradition. Especially festive in NYC, Boston, and Chicago, site of large Irish settlements in America, there was no parade in Ireland until about 1927. Louisville held its parade on the 10th.
As a Louisville native who enjoys celebrating the holiday and as a RealtorÂ® who loves my profession, I particularly enjoy the many Irish house blessing that zero in on what homeowership is all about.
May your home be bright with cheer,
May your cares all disappear,
May contentment come your way,
And may laughter fill your day.
Wishing you alwaysâ€”
Walls for the wind
And a roof for the rain
And tea beside the fireâ€”
Laughter to cheer you
And those you love near youâ€”
And all that your heart might desire!
May you have warm words
on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill
all the way to your door.